Updated at 11:53

Word has come from a former colleague of Paul Prdhomme that the New Orleans chef has died. He was 75. Details are still coming in  and this article will be updated. 

Prudhomme had been hospitalized and on life support for several weeks, according to one source. He was taken off life support Wednesday evening and died Thursday morning. He died in New Orleans.

Prudhomme is credited with making creole cuisine popular and nearly caused the depletion of a species when his Blackened Red Fish became a sensation. His K-Paul restaurant became a destination for visitors to the Big Easy. Although he still owned the restaurant, his niece and her husband, Paul Miller, have been operating it for several years. Prudhomme had been spending more time with his packaged spice business.

 Prudhomme was famously a large man and frequently got around via a mobility scooter. 

Cask Logo copy

James and Julie Petrakis, the husband and wife chef team behind the Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder and Swine & Sons Provisions, will open a version of Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport next year. The full-service restaurant will be airside in Terminal 2, which houses the gates for Southwest Airlines and is one of the busiest terminals at the airport.

The Petrakises were approached to be part of bidding process to propose a new restaurant for the airport by Johnny Rivers, a well-known and respected former executive chef at Walt Disney World who now operates INGLUR, an international food manufacturing conglomerate in South Orlando. Rivers — often confused with John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse — currently operates Johnny Rivers’ Grill & Market in the same terminal. Peter Amaro, Jr., president and coo of Master ConcessionAir (MCA) in Miami, is also part of the partnership. MCA operates restaurant and retail concepts in Florida airports, including two retail shops at Orlando International.

Although the partnership, known as MCA-MCO, was first told that its proposal had been selected by the airport in July, an official announcement was delayed when the decision was contested by other bidders, including Orlando’s Robert Earl, who wanted to install one of his Earl of Sandwich restaurants.

Torch Award with MetzFerdinand E. Metz, left, presented the inaugural Torch Award to Norman Van Aken Wednesday.

Celebrity chef Norman Van Aken was presented with the inaugural Torch Award Wednesday at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show currently underway at the Orange County Convention Center. Ferdinand E. Metz, president emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America, presented the award on the stage of the Culinary Demonstration Theater on the convention’s show floor.

The award was initiated to “recognize an individual or group of individuals whose achievements have enhanced and brought innovation to the restaurant and foodservice community,” according to press materials from the show’s organizers. Metz said that Van Aken was chosen as the first recipient because he unselfishly helps guide other culinarians. "The sharing of knowledge and ideas is instrumental in preserving the culinary arts and ultimately leads to more creativity and innovation,” he said.

Golden Krust interior

Golden Krust sure doesn’t sound like the name of a Caribbean eatery. Maybe a bread shop or a fictitious business on The Simpsons.

Actually, its origin was as a bakery, in St. Andrew, Jamaica, where the crusts, or Krusts, if you will, that were meant to be golden were the patties and other baked goods that are staples of a Jamaican menu.

Golden Krust also didn’t scream franchise to me as I approached the restaurant in Waterford Lakes, but I figured it out once I was inside. The menu board over the counter, where a steam table holds the day’s offerings, has a space next to each item’s name where the dish’s calories can be listed. Restaurants in Florida are not required to list nutritional information — yet — so the spaces were blank. But I realized that only a menu board provided by a franchisor would have the unnecessary calorie spaces. And I also correctly deduced that this was a franchise out of New York, where chains and fast food joints are required to list nutritional information. (Here in the Sunshine State such information is available on request from most chains, but otherwise kept in the dark.)

310 Park interior

I realized that it had been ages since I’d visited 310 Park South, the American restaurant that occupies that address in Winter Park. And I was surprised when I looked back through my files that it has been there since early 1999. Before it settled in, the space was occupied by a Fat Tuesday frozen drink emporium, and, even earlier, a short-lived restaurant called the No Name Bar and Grill. (I know that coming up with a name for a restaurant is a difficult process, but come on.) Over the years, the original restaurant helped launch the curiously named 310 Lakeside (which is not its address) in what was once a Sam Snead’s across from Lake Eola Park, and the also-on-Park, lowercased blu on the avenue.

I figured it was time to stop back in, so I arranged a lunch meeting with a colleague there recently.